Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: A Letter to the Friends of the Cross

The Letter to the Friends Of The CrossThe Letter to the Friends Of The Cross by St. Louis de Montfort
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was truly a Lenten surprise! I previously read St. Louis Marie de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary, and although I found it quite enriching, it proved to be one of the most difficult books I had ever attempted to read - this coming from someone who has studied Phenomenology! So, my expectations were quite low, and even though this booklet was a gift to my wife by a Monseigneur friend of ours, I did not rush to open it and read it.

One of the things that attracted me to this book was its length. It comes in at under 40 pages, the main text is actually 25 pages long, and then there's an eight page ode to the Cross at the end.

The impetus of the book is Christ's admonition to us: "If any one wishes to come after Me let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me." (Luke 8-23)

De Montfort takes this message to heart and shows us that we cannot be followers of Christ (who was not spared His Passion), and expect not to suffer along with Him. If He, God's perfect Son, suffered, then we, imperfect beings that we are, should expect as much.

This is not a book for every Catholic. Those who embrace de Kempis' Imitation of Christ (one of my favorite Lenten spiritual readings) will also embrace the spirituality contained in this booklet. In fact, de Montfort cites The Imitation in one passage.

If you are looking for a short spiritual work to help you contemplate the Cross, this is it.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Say what, now?

Laughing at Liberty Mutual Insurance's commercial:

Um, no. Maybe you should've taken driving lessons, self-righteous commercial lady. Since most trees aren't found in the middle of road, I'm guessing you drove your car off the road and hit that tree. So, don't blame your car insurance company for your bad driving. Just be thankful they still want to insure you!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mystery Novel Ending

This scene would end a murder mystery by exonerating a left-handed suspect or helping to prove the guilt of a right-handed suspect.

Detective Knowitall stroked his beard and asked, his tone almost bored, "And can you show me the murder weapon again, Inspector Head Upbutt."

The inspector shook his head as he reached for the cast-iron frying pan. Clearly the old boy had finally lost it. Did he want breakfast served to him? He offered the heavy pan to the detective. "Careful, sir. It's quite heavy."

The detective grasped the pan with both of his hands. "Oof! That is heavy!" He grinned as he turned it over. "Hmm, yes. I see now. Thank you, Inspector Upbutt. Please take it back before my arms break off."

The Inspector reached for the frying pan and gently placed it down on the stove. "Well? Why the sudden urge to drag us out here to crime scene, Detective?"

"I merely wanted to confirm a hunch. Please remind me again, was the victim killed with a blow to the left or the right side of his head?"

"The left side, as you well know! We've been over this again and again!"

"Exactly! Don't you see?"

Inspector Upbutt sighed. "See what, dear man? That the victim's last meal was fried eggs?"

The detective pointed up to heaven as he exclaimed, "Yes!"


"It's as clear as anything Inspector Upbutt. The left side of the victim's head was bashed in, which means that the killer was right handed. Yet one of our suspects is left handed, isn't he?"

"Um . . . yes?"

"Yes! Now, look. The eggs fried on the outside of the pan, the left side, where he cracked them open before dropping them in the pan to fry. If he was left-handed, he never would've picked up and swung that heavy pan with his weak hand."

The inspector looked stunned. "So, we now have proof that our second suspect, the right-handed one, is the killer!"

"Unless you killed him!" the detective offered. A loud cat-like meowl escaped his parted lips as he laughed.

The inspector held up his left hand, in which he held a pen. "Not me, detective! Not me!"

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Morning Prayer

Thank you, God for this day,

and for the graces you have given me.
May I use them to proclaim your kingdom.

Thank you for the sacrifice of your only begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ;
for the forgiveness of my sins,
and the redemption of my soul.

Thank you God for the gift of Mary, ever virgin, our Mother,
and thank you for my gardian angel.
May he guide my thoughts, words and actions today,
so that I may do your will.

Thank you for [name favorite saints],
May they and the Communion of Saints intercede on my behalf,
so that I may do your will.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Tricks or Treats

I'm thinking of handing out brown scapulars and Rosaries for Halloween this year. Maybe I should just give them out to the "politically correct and perennially funny" trick-or-treaters dressed as pregnant nuns or pedophile priests?

Friday, September 01, 2017

Review: Faustina The Mystic and Her Message

Faustina The Mystic and Her Message Faustina The Mystic and Her Message by Ewa K. Czaczkowska
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I began the Extraordinary Year of Mercy by trying to read St. Faustina's Diary. Sadly, I struggled, and attributed my inability to make any headway due to a poor translation of the work. I mentioned my lack of success to my parish priest, who happens to be Polish, and after admitting that he had difficulties reading the text even in his (and St. Faustina's) native language, he loaned me his copy of Czaczkowska's book.

Faustina is an incredibly detailed look at the saint's life, from her infancy up to the Church's declaration and celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday following Easter. Due to Czaczkowska's research and writing skills as an accomplished journalist, I learned everything I ever wanted to know about St. Faustina, her revelations, the two confessors she relied on to guide her with her visions and the theology behind the Divine Mercy.

Since St. Faustina moved around quite a bit in her order's convents, the book looks at the events of her life primarily from a geographical point of view. I thought this was an odd way of structuring a biography, but in this way Czaczkowska successfully gives us a sympathetic and fascinating account of the mystic's life.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in St. Faustina's amazing life.

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